Holder Cleansing Bush Justice Department

The announcement this week that Attorney General Eric Holder, barely two months into his job at the Department of Justice, was moving to drop all charges against former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, is another sign he is serious about cleaning up the mess that he inherited from the prior administration. Let’s hope he continues the house cleaning.

Stevens was indicted by the Bush Department of Justice on questionable charges of accepting favors from Alaska businessmen and failing to report them on his disclosure statements. He was convicted shortly before last fall’s election, which he then lost, due clearly at least in part to his legal troubles. Since the conviction, evidence has emerged that the federal prosecutors in the case, in their zeal to bag a sitting United States Senator, deliberately hid exculpatory evidence from the defense team, and engaged in other unseemly conduct, apparently including a romantic relationship between a federal agent and a government witness.

While some critics are blasting the current Justice Department for not doing enough to atone for these sins of its predecessor, the fact of the matter is, Mr. Holder has moved as quickly as possibly and has done as much as legally permissible to address the problem. He is asking the court to drop all charges against Stevens and has made clear he does not intend to pursue a retrial against the former Senator. Rather than criticize the new attorney general, Americans ought to strongly support the breath of fresh air this move — and others, such as releasing formerly classified memos detailing the tortured legal theories the Bush Administration used to justify unlawful actions against citizens — represents.

23 comments Add your comment


April 3rd, 2009
12:30 pm

Are you the new replacement for Cynthia Tucker?


April 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

I’m not sure I would as generous as you are towards Holder, BB. From my perspective he did nothing more than what he was supposed to. The case was flawed because of incompetance and would have been thrown out regardless of the fact that Stevens is a crook..which, btw, he is.

Measuring competancy using the Bush administration as a benchmark is rather weak. The standards you should be using should be much, much higher.


April 3rd, 2009
12:54 pm

Barr’s new-found LEFT is nauseating. If he’s being groomed to replace Tucker, the AJC will continue to lose subscribers.

sane jane

April 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm

Jack and bugger, you guys are part of the PROBLEM. Truth does not fall along party lines – both sides (all sides, actually, since you seem to think Libertarian is somehow a synonym for Republican?) have some fair and valid critiques of the other.

But for you to brand BB as “the new Tucker” suggests that your ideological revulsion to ANY position not in lockstep with neocon thought is clouding your better judgment.

Good day to you, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY!

Tyler Durden

April 3rd, 2009
3:43 pm

Jack and Bugger are two shining examples of why the GOP was left for dead the last two election cycles and will wander in the wilderness for 2-3 more.

Dear GOP: PLEASE, oh please keep the hardline stance on anything that’s not ultraconservative and give the Dems enough time to clean up your messes. Maybe then we can restore America to it’s glory. :-)

Do I like our chances? You Betcha!


April 3rd, 2009
4:58 pm

Ole Barr has seen the light!!

Dave H

April 3rd, 2009
5:00 pm

I’m not following the neocon argument here. Holder is letting a Republican – who was persecuted by Republicans – off the hook, and you’re against that? I guess you’re hatred of any Democrat outweighs your love for anything Republican. Mindless minions (regardless of party) are pathetic – what a sad and angry way to view the world.


April 3rd, 2009
5:12 pm

Truth is Stevens is still a crook.


April 3rd, 2009
5:25 pm

Holder did the right thing in this case. There are some real right wing nuts on this board who would definitely compromise their integrity just to be able to say they’re right. The term for them is JERKS!!


April 3rd, 2009
5:51 pm

fearless fosNOdick, yeah, Bookman doesn’t like it when conservatives can defend and turn the tables on his liberal goons. Oh, by the way, I’m still smarter than you are, troglodyte.


April 3rd, 2009
5:53 pm

Re HerbK @ 3:39 p.m.

You are crazy. Holder has not even been in his position for 3 months and you believe you have sufficient information to make that statement? I think not.

First of all, Holder is finally trying to clean out the stench from 8 years of Ashcroft, Gonzales and company. While I believe Stevens is a slimedog of the worst kind I do believe in the rule of law. If the prosecution engaged in the type of misconduct alleged, and violated the law by not providing the defense information they are required by law to provide, then I believe Holder is correct in recommending dismissal.

This is something no one in the Bush Administration would have considered, actually evualuating cases based on the law. Now I do have to wonder why they went after Stevens unless they felt that in the shadow of the U.S. Attorney firings and other missteps they needed to present a cover of fairness or not.

Please don’t come to conclusions until the time has come. Until then enjoy the kool-aid that Rush and company are providing free of charge.

fearless fosdick

April 3rd, 2009
6:04 pm

yea, right you are Commie .. It takes a real genuis to be banned from a blog!


April 3rd, 2009
10:33 pm

Once again Barr dares to agree with somethng a Democrat does and the kool-aid drinking conservatards bash him for it. Thinking for himself and standing on principals is unfortunately a big taboo in the Republican party. It got Barr legislated out his own district by his fellow Republicans.
Since when did the GOP become the Commumist Party where loyalty to the party is paramount? At least the Democrats let the voters decide when they want someone like Leiberman(sp)out of the party. Republicans just gerrymander your seat away, no vote needed.


April 3rd, 2009
11:32 pm

Ok…off subject but do you all remember the events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Reps Paul, Frank introduce bill to legalize industrial hemp

I guess its taken a financial crisis to end this bogus ‘war on drugs’. About time we stopped being ‘hassled by the man!’ lol…hippies


April 4th, 2009
7:27 am

Hmm, that a pretty selective issue — and a miniscule one — to cover. What about the rest of Holder’s legacy from the Reno years, which should cause any “libertarian” to recoil with horror? Is it really more important to walk a pet pony named Contrary than to cover an issue as important as the Justice Department?

patrick oconnor

April 4th, 2009
10:57 am

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty. All public comment should be banned, after indicment? This is the case in most countries. Too often, in the US win at any cost seems to have become the mantra of prosecutors. I have found it truly amazing that the previous administration, tried to get individuals insurance coverage for litigation removed from them. America wake up, Justice is neither blind or even. Freedom is not free and remember the old saying “who is watching the watchers?”


April 5th, 2009
12:22 am

SwedeAtlanta, yes, I am crazy. That’s been certified. Yet, still not nuts enough to think that holder actually knows what he’s doing. I didn’t drink any kool-aid, idiot, I call it as I see it. The repub prosecution screwed up big time in the Stevens case. Holder knows that, and doesn’t have the ability, intellect, or evidence to uphold the initial conviction. Do I care in the long run? Use to, now, not so much. Politicians always seem to find an escape mechanism, whether by a loophole in the law, or a blunder courtesy of the keystone prosecution. Hell, Bill Handel could have managed this one better.
Get back to the Vodak. Don’t drive & don’t vote.

J Holland

April 5th, 2009
9:36 am

I am over 66 years old & have participated in & discussed politics with
hundreds of state & federal elected office holders over the years. I can truly say that I have never met a conservative Republican
– when you get down to the details they all have have Big Government/Liberal leanings. Only a Liberal would object to the freeing
of a man convicted on trumped charges.



April 6th, 2009
7:32 am

He’s not cleansing it, he is polluting it beyond remediation!!The Republicans really abdicated their role when they offered up no opposition to this guy’s appointment to AG.He fits right in with the rest of them though, CORRUPT to the core.


April 6th, 2009
7:55 am

Name calling on these blogs leaves no doubt who the conservatives are when they commment.

Bitter EX democrat

April 9th, 2009
7:01 am

Gov. Palin is calling for special election to REdecide Senator Stevens
election, in light of the democrat led obfuscation of evidence, etc.


April 20th, 2009
11:16 am

Nitwits accusing Barr of being “left” and “Cynthia Tucker’s replacement” just proved they’re completely brain dead. Trust me, I’m quite liberal, and on virtually all issues, think Bob Barr is a total idiot. But seriously, do you guys not know what a libertarian believes?
That’s what Barr is, right? Which means, among other things – they, like Republicans, believe in smaller government and low taxes – much more so than Republicans, for that matter. Where they differ is this; while the GOP routinely embraces religious fundamentalists for political gain, Libertarians believe government should stay the heck out of people’s LIVES – not just their pocketbooks. That means, in their view, the state has no right to seize guns – OR force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy; that the state has no business hammering down people’s bedroom doors to prosecute sexual behavior (Exhibit A: Georgia’s old sodomy laws used to jail gays) AND above all, the personal liberties outlined in our Bill of Rights are untouchable. No spying on U.S. citizens, no suspension of habeus corpus (locking up Japanese in WWII, or suspected Muslim sympathizers today) and no torture, period.
Individual rights and freedoms always should beat the power of the state in the Libertarian view.
Now, I’m not sold – as a liberal, for me, Libertarianism is like Republican, Super-sized, but without the facism.
But it’s just more evidence of how poorly informed some of the right wingers here are that they don’t know the basics of the “L” party.


April 24th, 2009
11:50 am

Let’s hold off on a firm judgment of Eric Holder as AG. His past still has hauntings that should not be ignored. It is not yet a full quarter of a year that he has been in office. He did partake in the Waco debacle under Janet Reno and he did oversee parts of the Elian Gonzalez raid in FL. What will the next be in the name of public safety or best interest of the children? I hope that we all can hold back any judgment in such short of a term in office.